Today I am blogging for my friends who are all going to Florida this Autumn (Fall) with their infants who are all aged under 1 yr old.
Firstly, if you forget something don’t worry – just bring yourself, the baby and any can’t sleep without items. Florida can provide the rest (usually cheaper than the UK) from nappies (diapers) to clothes and sunscreen. Some things you might want to consider though – for mealtimes, a collapsible cooler with plastic cups, bowls and utensils and some resealable bags that you can fill with food you know your baby will eat. Prepare a simple first aid kit for the journey to Florida. Once you arrive there is a Walgreens and CVS at just about every mile marker plus Walmart and Publix both have excellent pharmacies.
Florida law requires that all children under 3 must be in a car seat. Car hire companies are legally required to provide car seats if you reserve them in advance – they have an additional charge so you may just want to bring your own with you.
Villa JK is well equipped with a cot, high chair, stroller, cot bedding, infant bowls/utensils so you don’t need to pack these. If you want to travel really light there are some hire companies that sell supplies for delivery e.g. www.babiestravellite.com, www.babysawayrentals.com and www.travellingbabyco.com.
Florida caters for the needs of every age demographic in your family – theme parks to zoos, museums and attractions, beaches, aquariums, wildlife encounters. At Villa JK you have the pool and also at the clubhouse there is a tot lot – suitable for toddlers.
Eating out – most establishments are happy to make a kid’s meal by request. You will usually get better service with infants earlier in the dinner hour (by 6pm). We have found most parents have felt entirely comfortable at the all you can eat restaurants like Golden Corral and Sweet Tomatoes where should your infant decide to have a tantrum nobody will tut!
We think in terms of theme parks the ones that we would recommend for this age group are Animal Kingdom where the under 5s seem to love the Affection Section, the Boneyard, Character Greeting Trails, Discovery Island Trails, Festival of the Lion King, Finding Nemo – The Musical, Kilimanjaro Safaris, Maharajah Jungle Trek, Pangani Forest Exploration Trail and Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade. We also recommend Seaworld where they adore One Ocean, Blue Horizons, Clyde and Seamore Take Pirate Island, Clydesdale Hamlet, Elmo Show, Manatee Rescue, A’Lure, the Call of the Ocean, Pacific Point Preserve, Penguin Encounter, Pets Ahoy, Shamu’s Happy Harbor and Wild Arctic (without the ride) and last but not least Magic Kingdom where the Under 5s enjoy everything in Fantasyland which is currently undergoing an extensive refurbishment – meaning some attractions may be closed but new ones may have already opened up in their new locations. They also love Buzz Lightyears Space Ranger Spin, The Enchanted Tiki Room (a personal favourite of mine – fun and lovely in the air conditioning), Liberty Square Riverboat, Move it! Shake it! Celebrate it! Street Party, Tomorrowland Transit (another of my favourites – seriously!!) and the Walt Disney World Railroad. And the even better news – under 3s are free!!
We think that Legoland will be a must for this age group and will be trying that out this September so will blog about that then. There are also special events for Halloween for the younger age group – Seaworld has their Halloween Spooktacular which takes place every weekend in October and Magic Kingdom has their Mickey’s Not so Scary Halloween on certain dates between Sept 11 and Nov 2, 2012 where kids can dress up in their favourite costumes and get ready to treat-or-treat with the characters.